Preservation in Progress

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Archive for the ‘Modern Tours’ Category

Preservation Advocacy News

University of Washington vs City of Seattle, et al.

On June 6, oral arguments were heard at the Washington State Supreme Court on the precedent-setting case between UW and City of Seattle, Historic Seattle, Docomomo WEWA, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

The fundamental issue is whether a public university is subject to a municipality’s preservation ordinance.

UW claims it is exempt from Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. Several justices questioned why UW complies with other City regulations (such as the Critical Areas ordinance) but not the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. Knute Berger of Crosscut discusses the key issues in this article.

Grab your popcorn and watch the 45-minute proceeding on TV Washington.

Save the Reactor Wins Modernism Award!

Speaking of the UW…The Save the Reactor campaign was awarded DOCOMOMO US’s “Advocacy Award of Excellence” as part of its 2017 Modernism in America Awards. The awards recognize the highest level of preservation efforts for preserving and documenting modern architecture, and sharing it with the public. This collaborative advocacy effort was commended for going well beyond most efforts and for its impact on the future.

City Released Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Mandatory Housing Affordability Implementation

Last month, the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development released a DEIS for the Mayor’s Housing and Affordability and Livability’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) policy. The DEIS evaluates three alternatives for implementing zoning changes proposed under the MHA policy, and includes a section addressing historic resources. The DEIS does not include downtown, South Lake Union, Uptown, or the University District, where MHA is already proposed or in effect.

MHA will require new development to provide affordable housing on-site or contribute to a City fund for affordable housing. To implement MHA, the City would grant additional development capacity to allow for construction of more market-rate housing and commercial space. The proposed upzones will impact Seattle’s urban villages and other commercial and multifamily residential zones across the city.

Historic Seattle will be submitting public comments on the proposed alternatives and potential impacts on historic properties. We encourage you to submit comments. The public comment period has been extended to August 7. Click here to find out how to submit comments.

In our opinion, what’s being proposed will have a potentially significant adverse impact on historic preservation. We strongly believe that the City can achieve a balance that will ensure that how we grow is sustainable and resilient while retaining urban character and sense of place. If Seattle continues its tear-down mentality, the city will lose what makes it a vibrant, livable place for all who call it home.

Coliseum/KeyArena and Bressi Garage Nominated as Seattle Landmarks

At its June 21 meeting, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board approved two separate nomination applications encompassing the Bressi Garage (Pottery Northwest) and kiln shed, and the Coliseum (KeyArena) site including the exterior of the Coliseum and its extant historic structural elements; the exterior of the NASA Building; and the exterior of the Blue Spruce Apartment Building. The West Court Building was not included in the nomination. Historic Seattle and the Queen Anne Historical Society attended the meeting to speak in support of the nominations. Designation for the two properties will be considered at the August 2 Board meeting.

Like the Space Needle and Pacific Science Center, the Coliseum meets all six designation criteria based on its historic, cultural, and architectural merit. Knute Berger, in a Crosscut article, sums up the building’s significance: “Its distinctive look (that hyperbolic paraboloid roof suggestive of a Salish rain hat) makes it a literal recognizable landmark; it’s a highly significant work by architect Paul Thiry, father of Northwest modernism; it is associated with the historic Seattle World’s Fair; and its original cable roof structure was innovative and, though replaced in the mid-1990s, the form of the roof is intact.”

Earlier in June, Mayor Murray announced that Oak View Group (OVG) was chosen as the preferred partner in negotiations with the City to renovate the Coliseum/KeyArena. The other bidder, Seattle Partners/Anschutz Entertainment Group, pulled out of the bidding process. OVG plans to use Federal Historic Tax Credits for this project, and hopes to have the arena renovated by October 2020. Historic Seattle is encouraged that the building’s future stewardship may be secured.

Upcoming Event: King County Modern / Church of the Redeemer Tour – Thursday, July 13

Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore (photo: King County Historic Preservation Program)

Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore (photo: King County Historic Preservation Program)

The King County Historic Preservation Program hosts a presentation on the historic context of modern residential architecture in the county. Susan Boyle, AIA, a principal at BOLA Architecture + Planning, and Docomomo WEWA Board member, will present findings from her research into the Modern era heritage of the county on Thursday, July 13. The event takes place in Kenmore at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, designed by Roland Terry.

Docomomo WEWA is co-sponsoring a tour of the church as part of our Modern Sacred Spaces series. Location: Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 6210 NE 181st Street, Kenmore, WA 98028. The event starts at 7:00 pm and will end by 8:30 pm. Parking is available on the south side of the main church building. This is event is free and open to the public.

Sidebar photo: lobby of the Temple of Justice, Olympia – parties gather after oral arguments were presented to the State Supreme Court

Modern Home Tour March 1

Roman House-Exterior-3-blogJoin Docomomo WEWA for a tour of the Roman residence in Seattle’s View Ridge neighborhood. Designed in 1950 by the firm of Chiarelli and Kirk, construction of the house was completed in 1951 for Herschel and Caryl Roman, the original and only owners of the property.

The Roman family carefully maintained the house, keeping most of the original features intact. The well-designed and well-built house is a fine example of mid-century Northwest modern architecture. Presenting a modest front facade and entry, the house sits on a large, wooded lot and opens to reveal a spacious, light-filled interior. The Romans planted over 150 varieties of rhododendrons, and were assisted in the design and planting of the garden by a Japanese American landscaper. The home is a veritable time capsule of restrained, mid-century modern design that has carried over well to the 21st century.

WHEN: Sunday, March 1, 2015. Come anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.
WHERE: Park and meet at the View Ridge Swim and Tennis Club parking lot, 5815 NE 77th Street, Seattle, WA 98115 (directions to the house will be provided)
COST: $5 per person

More details about the tour on Docomomo WEWA’s website.

Images: Original drawing, 1950, Chiarelli & Kirk; ca. 1950s view of the house, courtesy of the Roman family

Norton Building Tour (May 22) – Seattle’s First Modern Skyscraper

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Join Docomomo WEWA for a tour of the iconic Norton Building in downtown Seattle. Built in 1959, the building was designed by the Seattle firm of Bindon & Wright, in consultation with the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), and built by the Howard S. Wright Construction Company.

WHERE: 801 Second Avenue, Seattle (check in at the main lobby)

WHEN: Thursday, May 22, 2014
The event is from 5:30 and 7:00 pm. Please arrive no later than 6:15 to allow enough time to experience the spaces open to view.

WHAT: Opportunity to get an in-depth look at Seattle’s first modern skyscraper! Upon check-in, you’ll receive a tour brochure and receive information about the spaces/floors that are open to view. The tour is self-guided but Docomomo WEWA volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and discuss notable features of the building. The offices of LMN Architects and Coughlin Porter Lundeen (CPL) Engineering will be open to view. You’ll learn about the history of the building, its significance and changes/improvements over time.

COST: FREE (but donations are always welcome)

The 16-story Norton Building is Seattle’s first modern skyscraper and one of the city’s earliest aluminum and glass curtain-wall office buildings. The building was the first major downtown office structure built in the Modern era following the Depression and World War II. A designated Landmark, it is widely recognized as the finest local example of the International Style, due to the successful application of modern materials and construction technologies that allowed for efficiency, flexibility and elegance through the use of an innovative composite structural system and prefabricated and curtain-wall assembly.

This event is supported in part by a 4Culture Preservation Sustained Support grant.

Tour Two Modern Homes in Wedgwood – Saturday, August 10, 2013

balch_kirk homepage

Docomomo WEWA and 360°modern invite you to a summer tour of two homes designed by Paul Hayden Kirk in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood. The two houses open for view on 28th Ave NE were built for real estate developer Albert Balch, Jr. who was the first to develop residential tracts in Wedgwood and View Ridge. Kirk designed several other homes on the same street and nearby. This is an opportunity to see more modest designs by Kirk as opposed to the custom designed houses we’ve seen on past tours.

The event is a self-guided tour. The two houses are within easy walking distance on the same block. Exterior photos only.

LOCATION: Go to Docomomo WEWA website for details.

DATE: Saturday, August 10, 2013. Houses open to view 2:00 and 5:00 p.m.

COST: The tour fee is $10 per person. Reservations are not needed. Please pay at the door (cash or check only). Tour income goes towards future programs and events. Enjoy refreshments on the tour.

Mid-century Modern Home Tour in West Seattle, Saturday, October 6

Docomomo WEWA invites you to join them for DOCOMOMO US Tour Day 2012 in West Seattle on Saturday, October 6th. You’ll visit three mid-century modern homes that demonstrate the creative work of one architect, Arnold Gangnes (1918 – 2003), who was known for his innovative designs for modern dwellings and later for large scale non-residential and institutional projects. Included on the tour is Gangnes’s own house built in 1948.

The event is a self-guided driving/walking tour. Two of the residences are next door to each other. The third home is reachable by car, bike or a nice long walk.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2012. Tour hours are between 11 am and 2 pm. Please check-in no later than 1 pm to allow time to view all three houses.

Limited on-street parking is available. Please do not block any driveways. Consider carpooling. As an alternative to driving, the KC Metro bus route 50 travels along SW Admiral Way. The KC Water Taxi departs Pier 50 and connects at Seacrest to Metro bus route 775 to Alki/Admiral.

WHERE: Check-in at 5054 SW Grayson St where you’ll receive a tour booklet and map. You’ll be asked to remove your shoes at each house. Exterior photography only.

EVENT FEE: $10 per person. Cash or check only.